The Impossible Bank – Inspiration Saturday

I’ve been working on the mental side of my training – interrupting negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones, etc.

As I read other people’s accounts of their IRONMAN one very consistent theme is having times during the IM when finishing seems impossible.  That especially interests me because one of the things that I’d like to get out of this experience is improving my ability to examine and challenge what I perceive as my limits to see if they are real or self-imposed.

So I’ve decided to start building up an “impossible bank.” As I’m noticing my negative thoughts during training and replacing them with positive ones, I’m also noticing when it pops into my head something is impossible (for example – there’s no way that I can do this whole hill without resting, there’s no way I can maintain this cadence up this hill, there’s no way I can maintain this speed for this whole interval, there’s no way that I can swim this distance today without using my rest stroke etc.)

As soon as I have the thought, I decide to do the thing that seems impossible. So far, I’ve completed the thing each time.  I may not end with a perfect record, but I’ve already had quite a few times when I did something that I thought I couldn’t do.

In this way, I hope to build an “impossible bank.” A bank of times in training when I did something that I initially thought was impossible. That way,  when I’m in the IM and it doesn’t seem like I can possibly do it, I’ll be able to remember how often I’ve been wrong about that.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff!

Check out my sponsor!  More of Me to Love (a company that sells stuff – from practical to inspirational – for people who are fat and people of all sizes who are involved in Size Acceptance, Body Positivity, and Health at Every Size,) have always been super supportive of my work, and now they’ve created a group of awesome products, a portion of the profits from which will help fund my IRONMAN journey – you can check it out here (it’s worth it just to see the awesome fat triathlete logo they created!) Thanks MOMTL!

IRONMAN Sale:  I’m having an ongoing sale on my books,  DVDs and downloads to help pay for my IM – you get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! To check it out, you can go to No money?  No problem!  If you feel like it, you can leave a comment or send me an e-mail ( saying something encouraging, that’s incredibly helpful as well!

If you have questions about my IRONMAN journey  the FAQ might help!

If you’re looking for a place to talk about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, check out the Fit Fatties Forum. and the Fit Fatties Facebook page.

Book Me!  I’m a professional speaker and I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!


About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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6 Responses to The Impossible Bank – Inspiration Saturday

  1. DennyTriMoney says:

    What a BRILLIANT idea. I’m up at 2Am with pain killer induced insomnia and I’m going to try this right now. Thank you!


    • Yikes, sorry for the pain that induced the painkillers that induced the insomnia – is it triathlon related? I hope you feel better soon!



      • DennyTriMoney says:

        Oh no, LOL! I hurt my back working as an engineer for an oil services company before I retired. It still flares up from time to time but actually my triathlon training keeps it loose and way more comfortable. The issue I have now is my wife and I always take June and July to drive up the coast to see our daughter in Portland so I’m in the car and don’t have a lot of swim and bike time. Sad but I have to turn to the more powerful stuff to get me to sleep which often has the exact opposite affect on me.


  2. lsstrout says:

    I LOVE this idea! I’ll try to make use of it.


  3. Amy Herskowitz says:

    Fabulous idea. I was on a high after I completed my half-marathon last month and it makes me think about how great I feel after I’ve accomplished something I have in my head to do. I’m still struggling with my tri swim though … and this is a progressively new thing. I’ve historically felt very confident in my swimming and now I feel anxious and nervous more often, which affects my breathing. I think my mental game is my biggest hurdle right now and I’m not even training for an IM.


  4. Jana says:

    I too love this idea!


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